Introducing the 2019-20 Athletic Leadership/Sportsmanship Program

Earlier this summer, a group of community members formed the Athletic Leadership/Sportsmanship Program to help promote good sportsman ship and fun rivalries among area high schools. The initiative is geared to all students and school officials who participate in local athletics. The Leadership/Sportsmanship Program committee is comprised of individuals from the Muskingum Valley League, Zane State College, Franklin Local Schools, West Muskingum School District, Zemba Bros., Storied Rivals, and the Muskingum County Sheriff Office.

“Sports are the perfect opportunity for kids to learn about integrity, leadership, and work ethic. Along with sports comes rivalries, which are meant for friendly competition. However, many of us have experience rivalries that have gotten out of hand with a showcase of behavior that is damaging to the sport itself. This Program is meant to help foster healthy rivalries with respect for the game – both on and off the field,” Muskingum Valley League Commissioner Scott Welker said.

Students from 14 schools from across the region were selected as the 2019-20 Athlete Leadership/Sportsmanship Ambassadors. With support from their coaches and school administration, this group will inspire others to work hard and overcome obstacles while remaining positive and treating others with kindness. Events and activities throughout the school year will help spread the message of the meaning of friendly competition.

On November 19, an Athlete Leadership/Sportsmanship Summit will take place at the Zane State College campus. This event has been taking place in the Muskingum Valley area dating back to the 1980s and has evolved into a community event that includes high schools from across the area. Over 90 students and school administrators will join the Ambassadors to help learn more about being good leaders. The agenda includes team building activities, discussion about what leadership and sportsmanship means to them, and they will start planning their strategies for the future.

“A highlight of this event is the coaches panel where they will talk about what sportsmanship means to them and how they integrate that into their teams’ culture. Students will have an opportunity to interact one-on-one with these accomplished coaches. More events are already being planned to keep the momentum and the message of good sportsmanship front and center,” Athlete Leadership/Sportsmanship Committee Member Shelley Zimmerman said.

Stay tuned for a post-event recaps and search #StudentsStepUp to see photos from the day on social media.